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Mark Fahrer is a master of creative Continental party food (such as baby lamb chops as hors d’oeuvre) and an old hand at international cooking (a favorite from Morocco is b’steeya—squab-nut-raisin pie). He can also help to find off-the-beaten-path venues. From $100 per person. (good value)
Mary Guiliani Catering & Events135 W. 20th St., nr. Seventh Ave., sixth fl.; 212-725-1658; marygiuliani.com
Giuliani puts a chic twist on comfort foods: She adds truffles and foie gras to grilled cheese sandwiches and transforms macaroni and cheese into a spicy Parmesan tartlet. Couples who eschew the formal sit-down dinner can opt for a chic buffet. Prices upon request.
Michael Stuart NY347-292-7456; michaelstuartny.com
Michael Stuart Steifman’s full-service company serves farmers-market-inspired menus that might include fresh ricotta gnocchi with English peas, foraged mushrooms, shallots, and fromage blanc. With the client’s permission, Steifman and his socially responsible team donate leftover food to the city’s rescue mission. Cocktails from $100 per person; seated dinner from $225, including alcohol. (ecofriendly)
Miss Elisabeth’s Catering917-414-0512; misselisabeths.com
After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, this Food Network Chopped champion launched her catering company with a focus on local, seasonal, and organic ingredients. An elegant feast might feature pan-seared wild striped sea bass with tarragon beurre blanc, tomato risotto, and sautéed spinach, or basil-crusted lamb tenderloin with homemade gnocchi and ratatouille. From $150 per person. (ecofriendly)mfcatering.com
Since 1979, this caterer has planned menus that incorporate clients’ family recipes, such as Grandma’s Sicilian veal-beef-and-pignoli meatballs for a homesick Italian bride. Such dishes as miso-glazed sea bass and herb-crusted filet mignon with a Barolo-and-portobello-mushroom reduction abound. The attentive staff go above and beyond so the bride and groom can sit back and relax. From $150 per person.
Naturally Delicious Caterers and Event Planners487 Court St., nr. Nelson St., Carroll Gardens; 718-237-3727; naturallydelicious.com
This company features seasonal menus with locally grown ingredients, some of which come straight from its backyard organic garden. Founder Loren Michelle and her team work closely with couples to customize menus, which can involve everything from cocktails to full sit-down and family-style dinners. Couples can choose from a slew of multiethnic choices, comfort foods, and fusion styles. From $150 per person. (ecofriendly)
Nova Catering & Events1140 Sixth Ave., at 44th St.; 212-977-8900; novacateringco.com
Chris Barbier’s team can handle all the particulars of a wedding, from venue selection to D.J.’s and customized menus. Whether the reception is a formal sit-down affair or a free-flowing cocktail hour, these caterers provide an eclectic culinary array that might include hors d’oeuvre like seared ahi tuna with wasabi cream on cornbread. $150 per person.ocnyc.com
Couples in search of artfully presented fare love the eye-pleasing dishes conjured up by these detail-oriented caterers. They specialize in New American cuisine with European and Asian influences; think truffled grilled cheese with celery relish, seared Wagyu lollipops, and miso-glazed black cod with snow-pea salad. Prices upon request.
Oysters XO917-297-5929; oystersxo.com
For a classy touch, serve up tasty aphrodisiacs during your cocktail hour with this bivalve-focused catering company. It will provide a variety of oysters along with shuckers, known as the Oyster Girls, who walk among guests and offer the delicacies with or without condiments. Prices upon request..
Peter Callahan137 W. 25th St., nr. Seventh Ave., fourth fl.; 212-327-1144; petercallahan.com
He has served gourmet feasts to the crème de la crème, but Callahan isn’t above indulging campier cravings with haute grilled-cheese sandwiches and pigs in blankets (either traditional or reimagined with smoked salmon and wasabi caviar on black bread). From $275 per person.piesnthighs.com
P-N-T serves up family- and buffet-style meals like fried chicken and biscuits, smoked brisket, seasonal sides, and its famous southern-style pies, cookies, and doughnuts. Full-service catering, including bar and staff, available. From $30 per person. (good value)
Pinch Food Design545 W. 27th St., nr. 11th Ave.; 212-244-7000; pinchfooddesign.com
Dynamic duo Bob Spiegel and T. J. Girard lead a team of culinary vets to deliver “food furniture” that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. Expect small bites like Brussels-sprout chips and thyme-brioche toast and hors d’oeuvre like eggplant-lamb ravioli. Prices upon request.
PS Tailored Events646-472-6977; pstailoredevents.com
Formerly an executive chef at Le Cirque and the private chef to Martha Stewart, Pierre Schaedelin focuses on seasonally driven cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Expect inventive items like a roasted, lemon-thyme-marinated chicken entrée served with a sweet-and-sour tomato marmalade, asparagus, and soft corn cake. By appointment only. Prices upon request.theragingskillet.com
Couples with adventurous palates count on this “anti-caterer” for bold dishes and “floating suppers.” Its specialty is multicultural weddings. For a Jamaican-Irish affair, these chefs served codfish fritters and cheddar macaroni and cheese, and for a Jewish-Korean celebration they prepared latkes and Korean barbecue beef and kimchee. From $110 to $220 per person.
Real Food Catering55 Great Jones St., nr. Lafayette St., third fl.; 212-475-6623; realfoodcatering.net
This versatile company can create anything from a small gourmet seated dinner to a 350-person buffet. Worldly menu choices include Peking duck mini-sandwiches and Shanghai home-style short ribs with spicy tofu dan dan noodles. From $150 per person for cocktails and seated dinner.
Red Table Catering205 Leonard St., nr. Grand St., Williamsburg; 917-553-5944; redtablecatering.com
These Brooklyn-based caterers collaborate with couples, customizing wedding menus to include dishes from five-star restaurants or recipes from a beloved aunt. They once created a “Food From Around the World” menu to highlight bites referenced in a client’s favorite novels. From $100 per person for cocktail receptions and $215 per person for plated meals.robbinswolfe.com
Whether you’re going for an haute Hamptons tent gala or an offbeat downtown smorgasbord, these versatile pros can nail it. They specialize in classics with an upscale twist, as evinced by iconoclastic dishes like surf and turf of grilled, marinated Montauk striped bass and braised beef short ribs. From $150 to $300 per person.robertaspizza.com
This Brooklyn favorite creates custom wedding menus that feature ingredients from East Coast farms. Roberta’s has catered casual North Fork weddings, traditional multicourse dinners at the Green Building in Gowanus, on-site garden weddings featuring wine-paired dinners, and even pig roasts. Pizza parties from $65 per person; seated dinners from $95 per person; pig roasts and specialty parties from $75 per person. Additional fees apply for beverage packages, rentals, and staff. (ecofriendly / good value)
Ryan Brown Catering New York294 Third Ave., at Carroll St., Park Slope; 718-852-2575; ryanbrowncatering.com
Executive chef Brown, a French Culinary Institute grad, takes an organic, seasonal, farm-to-table approach, customizing menus to meet the needs of each couple. Highlights include his Pineland Farms beef short rib with horseradish gremolata served with black-truffle mashed potatoes. From $85 per person for a seated four-course dinner. (ecofriendly / good value)